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News headings from LabourStart

Abbott wants to take away your overtime rates.

« Back to News Articles Abbott wants to take away your overtime rates.

It’s a fact - Tony Abbott and his IR minister Eric Abetz are planning a fullscale on attack on workers overtime rates.

That’s why they have ordered a Productivity Commission inquiry into the IR system.

The move ignores a comprehensive review just three years ago – which found the system was working well. On Abbotts agenda to undermine workers’ rights and living standards are:

  • The Productivity Commission review into workplace relations, will put all workplace rights, overtime rates and the minimum wage up for grabs.
  • The Fair Work Amendment Bill that seeks to take away protection of workers’ rights and give employers veto over industrial action which makes it harder for workers to be represented by their union at work.
  • Freezing increases to the Superannuation Guarantee that will see a 25-year-old on average earnings, over their working life, have $100,000 less when they retire.

Abbott has joined with the business lobby in creating a false sense of economic crisis which is not supported by the facts.

  • Wages growth was contained at 2.5% in 2014.
  • Industrial disputes, measured in days of work lost, were the second lowest ever last year.
  • Labour productivity growth was solid in 2014.

Our current industrial relations system and the Fair Work Act are serving us well.

Abbott’s motive for the new review is all about payback to the business community for the support it gives his

Our workplace system is based on principles established around the time of federation: fairness, equality, protection of the vulnerable, and reward for hard work.

From this followed a minimum wage, reasonable working hours, paid leave, protection from unfair dismissal, the right of workers to organise and bargain collectively, and more – all overseen by an independent umpire. When extremists sought to tear apart those foundations, such as with WorkChoices, the verdict from the public has been overwhelming.

But Abbott is a slow learner.

Many insiders now a believe Abbott would like to call an early election. And if he wins he will use the findings of the Productivity Commission to claim a mandate to slash workers entitlements.

Watch this space.